The Indira Sagar Sports Complex near Hanumantia village at Indira Sagar Dam in MP - the biggest man-made lake in the country - is all set to host the maiden Jal Mahotsav (water tourism event) from Friday.
The event will provide the true local flavour of the state through local art, craft, folk music, dance and cuisines. It will also include adventure sports and island activities. The tourism department also plans to develop a water-based circuit in this area in Khandwa district soon.
Union urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu along with chief minister Shivraj Singh will inaugurate the 10-day annual event on Friday which aims to showcase the cultural heritage of Madhya Pradesh.
The Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (MPTDC) developed the Indira Sagar Sports Complex worth Rs 20 crore while another venture at Sailani Island (in the backwaters of Omkareshwar dam), near the Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga shrines, at a cost of R10.5 crore is set to open for tourists in a few months.
The tourism department has decided to develop aqua tourism in this part of the state as the Narmada that flows through western Madhya Pradesh is suitable for aqua sports. The catchment area of Indira Sagar dam is as huge as Kanha National Park and there are several permanent islets which can be developed as tourism spots.
Khandwa district collector MK Agrawal said, “Aqua tourism in this part of the state is a good option to develop tourism as well as generate employment in Neemar region”.
“The administration in cooperation with the tourism department is planning to develop a water-based circuit in the area, which will be the only such aqua tourism spot in the country,” Agrawal added.
The administration also plans to develop a road-based tourist circuit.
MPTDC general manager (Indore and Ujjain region) Anil Saxena said the corporation was getting a good response for the event as all the 125 tents were booked.
“We have given employment to more than two-and-a-half dozen youths who are experts in swimming and have other skills. In the future, this number could increase as more such tourist destinations will be developed in the area,” Saxena said.
He said training was being provided to the youths at a workshop. “Currently, around 30 villagers from Hanumathiya and nearby villages are undergoing hospitality training,” Saxena added.
Location: Near Hanumantia village in Khandwa.
Area: Spread across 955 sq km and home to 119 islands
Recreation facilities: A cruise boat, motor boat, hot air-balloon rides, parasailing, paragliding.
Project cost: Rs 20 crore
Total tents: 125 including Swiss tents, pine wood cottages.
SAILANI ISLAND (Under preparation)
Location: Near Omkareshwar jyotirlinga shrine
Recreation facilities: A cruise boat, surfing facilities, jetty and a water scooter.
Project cost: Rs 10.5 crore